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Rise in UK Hospital Admissions Linked to Social Media

Rise in UK Hospital Admissions Linked to Social Media Rise in UK Hospital Admissions Linked to Social Media

A new publication by the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says that social media is fueling a nation of “deeply unhappy” children due to self-harm.

Data obtained under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act found 18,778 children aged 11 to 18 were admitted to hospital for self-harm in 2015/16, representing a 14% rise in incidents. This figure is up on the 16,416 in 2013/14 figures according to the society’s data.

Teenagers aged 13 to 17 were the most likely to end up in the hospital for self-harm including things such as cutting, overdosing on medicines or burning themselves, the UK’s Press Association reports.

Figures by the NSPCC supported national Childline helpline showed that it responded to 18,471 sessions or roughly 50 per day.

Peter Walness, the CEO of the NSPCC noted, A frightening number of children and teenagers are being driven to self-harm as a way of dealing with unresolved feelings, tensions, and distress in their lives.”

He added that an increasing number of hospital beds are full of young people crying out for help should be a wake-up call to parents and people in charge of the country.

Social media has repeatedly been criticized for publishing altered versions of accounts of people’s lives in recent years; several international groups have criticized websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for actively promoting the sites.

Facebook and Twitter are blocked in Iran pushing many younger children and teenagers to use Instagram and Telegram m Messenger as their default social media account with many instances of cyber-bullying occurring.

Anecdotally, there have been several reports on social media in Iran of celebrities – even US President Barack Obama’s daughters – being directly affected by cyber-bullying on their Instagram accounts.  Iran’s celebrities alike have also been targeted on occasions through their Instagram accounts by people responding making nasty comments about their personal lives.

In these cases, people can report the users to the Iranian Cyber Police. If social media account holders make libelous comments, the matter could become a criminal investigation.

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